With the new Dewey Short Visitor center opening soon at Table Rock Lake, we wanted to take a look at one of the most prominent features of the Tri-Lakes area–Table Rock Dam.
Table Rock Dam was constructed as a way to control the frequent and unpredictable flooding of the White and Mississippi Rivers. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers was in charge of building the dam and still operates it to this day. Table Rock Dam, the outcome of the desire for flood control, was constructed in about 4 years time and completed in 1958. The construction of the dam caused the formation of Table Rock Lake, a popular destination for both locals and tourists with a variety of activities and boating opportunities.
Tours are also available of Table Rock Dam which give visitors a rare glimpse at the inner workings of a dam. Visitors are led through the dam by knowledgeable personnel and are able to see how the flow of water turns turbines that eventually lead to the generation of electricity. The inside of the dam is only available to visitors on the official tour or employees.
Even when the weather is hot outside, the dam tends to keep cool, so the tour can be a great break from the summer heat. Otherwise, a light jacket might be useful. Visitors are able to see some of the actual machinery that helps in the process of electricity generation, and walk through areas that only other employees see. After the tour of the dam, there is also Dewey Short Visitor’s Center that is located in close proximity to the dam where educational activities and information are available for those who are interested in learning more about the area. Table Rock Lake themed merchandise is generally in stock there as well.
Table Rock Dam is a very unique dam located in the beautiful Ozarks. The official tour through the inside of the dam is a great way to learn a little bit about the history of the dam and also how it and Table Rock Lake work with the environment.